Saturday, August 25, 2007

Paris in springtime, Washington in August...

It IS like the world's largest Bikram yoga studio (complete with Inappropriate Yoga Guy at times) and perhaps that's part of its charm.

Yes, Washington is "so dead!" in August and "everyone who's anyone" flees to the Hamptons or Rehobeth (sigh, flip up collar of Lilly Pulitzer polo)...However, I think they're missing out on a few things:

- Fort Reno concerts
- Fountain-side jazz at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
- "Where are they now?" concerts at Celebrate Fairfax! (Smashmouth, Smithereens, a profoundly disturbing show by Rick Springfield a few years ago)
- Minor-league baseball (see the Frederick Keys in the photo below)
- Funnel cake
- Conducting one's own "war on terroir" at various Virginia and Maryland vineyards
- The pleasure of walking around at night in a strappy sundress, no coat required

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bladensburg, Maryland: We don't need your Civil War

Old and tired: Yankee vs. Confederate reenactments. The new hotness: Bringing to life the War of 1812.

Learn about the Riversdale House Museum here. See photos from Saturday's big reenactment day here. (Be sure to scroll down for the money shot.)

The soldiers train for battle...

More are waiting in the wings...

"Would you like to join our child army?"

The garden appears to be safe...

The headless general reports for duty...

"Oh #$%^& - we took out the ice cream truck!"

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Overheard at Panera

"She's not a bad person-"

"She's a bad mom."

- Two women judging - ahem, chatting, by the serve-yourself iced tea station.

Wow, did I overhear that correctly? Yes, I did.

The increasingly common "You're/he's/she's not a bad person" is faint praise indeed. It ranks the describee of a slightly higher moral caliber than Stalin or Hitler yet many, many levels below the pristine perfection of the describer.

That interchange put me in a foul, misanthropic mood. Therefore...

More random linguistic peeves

The verbification of America: Journaling, texting, tasking. Yes, the U.S. is a nation of ACTION - but the English language already has thousands of perfectly good verbs. No need to make more.

"In a dark place": Unless you're talking about the tornado cellar or a dungeon (in which case, you're oversharing), use sparingly. Example to avoid: "During my 18 months of grad school, I could not afford to eat sushi even once. I was in a dark place." (confession: that one came from me, albeit semi-sarcastically)

"A time of healing": Blech. Although once I could afford sushi again, I was very excited. Healed? Perhaps an overstatement.

"Knowledge worker": Why is this description restricted to white collar jobs? I consider the plumber a knowledge worker. He knows how to fix a toilet; I don't. Indeed, that's why I'm calling him.

"Ping me offline": Although this usually signals that a conference call is wrapping up (a good thing), the mental image I usually get is of someone taking his or her index finger and plinking the "pingee" in the forehead. Ouch!


Monday, August 06, 2007

Because you care *...

My take on the Vanity Fair International Best-Dressed List.

Yes, all the best-dressed are ridiculously wealthy. So dressing well is a no-brainer? Not necessarily. I give you two words: Britney and Spears.

- Charlotte Gainsborough: She's got bed-head, coltish limbs and is decked out entirely in Balenciaga - damn the French! Of course she's on this list.

- HRH Princess Alexandra of Greece/HH Pricess Mafalda of Hesse: Lovely. Proper. You can see women like this lunching in Georgetown all the time.

- Tilda Swinton: Wears an all-foil wardrobe well.

- Ivanka Trump: I have a (black, much cheaper) cocktail dress like the one in the picture! But I just didn't want the publicity of being photographed for a national magazine.

- Renee Zellweger: She probably wears a strapless Carolina Herrera gown to the grocery store. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

- Bee Shaffer: When you're mom's the editor of Vogue, you can't exactly run around in Crocs.

- Marjorie Gubelmann: Nice to see a representative who doesn't veer towards the size 2 side of the rack.

- Michelle Obama: The gown is great, but why only one photo? I sense a conspiracy from the Edwards camp.

- Fran Lebowitz: We get it, she always wears a suit.

- Richard E. Grant and a handsome international crew: Notice, men of Washington - not a pair of Dockers among them. Nor Blackberries clipped to the belt or the ubiquitous sky blue button-down. (and their security badges are discreetly tucked out of sight, too!)

- Lenny Kravitz: Nope, no Dockers there either.

- Nicolas Sarkozy: In a shirt. Not threatening to beat the #$%^& out of anyone.

And they have couples awards!

- Brangelina: Why do I get the feeling St. John makes entirely different clothes for her they don't sell in their stores?

- Mitch Glazer and Kelly Lynch: An age-appropriate couple, he's not wearing a trucker hat and her boobs are covered up - they can't possibly live in California.

- Random earls and countesses: Call me a populist, but I'm not seeing anything extraordinary here.

- Posh & Becks: Now there's something extraordinary - her implants and his metrosexual hotness.

The "fashion professionals" category. That's truly loaded - let's skip. Onto the grand finale - the Hall of Fame:

- Jemima Khan: Has a lot of hair

- Marina Rust Conner: Is wearing an elegant ivory ensemble in one photo and a bedazzled Christmas sweater in the other.

- Anna Piaggi: Is wearing all of her clothing at once

- George Clooney: I sense a theme: No Dockers. And an excellent way to end this post.

* And to leaven the very, very serious post of yesterday.

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